Rags, Borya And The Rocket – Baranova and Veltistov

In this post, we will see the book Rags, Borya And The Rocket: a tale of home-less dogs and how they became famous by M. Baranova, Y. Veltistov.

About the book:

This is a semi-fictional book. If you like space travel and love dogs, then perhaps this is the book for you. The book explores the theme of training dogs for space travel, set during the start of space-age. Mixed with this is the story of a boy who is looking for his lost dog. It turns out his dog is not a simple dog but is space-traveller! Out of the dogs featured, only one I knew was Laika. 

A story of the real “space dogs” of Russia mixed in with a fictional story of how a particular dog joined the space program. [source]

This is the story of the dogs who went into space in the Russian Space Program’s beginnings.  The story is told through the eyes and experiences of a little boy named Borya and his white Spitz dog Rags.  Through a series of mishaps Rags become lost and Borya spends most of the book searching for him.  This gives an opportunity to go to a dog show in Moscow and various other sites around the city.  To shorten a bit, Rags is found by the scientists searching for good space traveler candidates and taken into the training program for dogs that will be sent into space.  The training, procedure etc. is all explained, tho in terms of this fictional account.  Rags is given the name of Courageous and does indeed rocket into space.  When he is safely returned from his space travel he and Borya once again are reunited and are heroes,.or at least Rags aka Courageous is a Soviet hero.  Book is profusely illustrated with black and white drawings of many and various breeds of dog but the star, the little white Spitz, Rags, is thoughout. [source]

The line drawings are amazing. If I ever write a book, these are the kind of illustrations that I would want!

The book was translated from the Russian by Anne Hansen. The beautiful illustrations are by Y. Migunov and K. Rotov (pages 119-122). The book was first published in English by progress publishers in 1964.

All credits to Guptaji

The Internet Archive link


The Incident at the Premiere 5

The Explosion in the Field 9

Rags Disappears 12

At the Dog Show 18

Snapper 26

The Space Doctor  29

Don’t Be Afraid! Nothing to Be Afraid of!32

Now We Begin  37

An Unsuccessful Trip 44

Here Lived Laika 49

The Helpful Pencil 56

Chlorella 62

A Cannon or a Rocket? 65

Three … Two … Go! 76

The Whims of Fame 85

Is It Him or Not? 91

The Journey Round the Moon 98

Sputnik Calling 103

Borya Gives an Interview 111

The Keys to the Universe 118

About The Mitr

I am The Mitr, The Friend
This entry was posted in books, children's stories, progress publishers, science, soviet, technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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